People are always coming up with new and interesting ways to stay healthy and fit. Workout classes are always fun and a great way to exercise, but what if there was a twist? Nowadays, it’s not enough to just workout at the gym. To keep people engaged in the activity, there often needs to be a gimmick to keep things interesting and make a good workout a lot of fun. I went to a few different workout classes to try out the wacky new ways there are to exercise, and tell you about all the fun opportunities there are for a good workout.
My Takeaway: Good for Team Bonding
This class is pretty much exactly what it sounds like… yoga with goats. Most of the classes are held in the morning at 9:30 or 10 a.m., but if you are like me and not a morning person, don’t worry about missing out on the fun because there are sunset classes held in the evening.
The class itself is very fun. You stand in a big circle to do some relatively simple yoga poses while the goats are led around the circle by trainers who get the goats to either hop on top of you or walk under you. There is nothing quite like feeling a goat stand or walk across your back. All of the goats are very friendly and it doesn’t hurt at all to have them on you. They are much lighter than they may seem.
The class ends with the instructor showing a few group goat yoga poses that you can choose to try or not. It isn’t a very labor intensive class because it really is all about the goats, but I would highly recommend the class for a team building activity or if you are just looking for something interesting and fun to do.
The instructors and workers are all very nice and willing to help you get the perfect picture at the end of class so you can show off your time at goat yoga. All of the classes are very inexpensive at $15 a person. It could be a bit of a drive depending on where you live as it’s in Gilbert, but the laughs you’ll share with friends, family and those around you make it all worth it.
My Takeaway: Very Relaxing
If you have ever had any dreams of floating on air or flying, this workout was made for you. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about falling on my head when I was on my way to the class, but my fears quickly drifted away after the class started.
We started off in a short meditation with the silk wrapped all around us. It really gets you in a relaxed mindset for class. The class is a nice balance of stretching and conditioning that leads to every muscle feeling stretched and well-used by the end. The instructor gives very specific directions as well as physically demonstrating everything we did which made the class easy to follow, so you can go in with absolutely no idea what you are doing just like I did and still be ok. Although the beginning classes are kept quite simple, the instructor gives a few modifications if you feel you need more of a stretch or if you just want to challenge yourself.
After all of the basic yoga and conditioning, we moved into inversions, but don’t let this scare you from trying it — you don’t have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. If the class sounds fun but hanging upside-down isn’t your thing, I still would highly recommend trying the class and just watching the inversions. Class ended with a traditional savasana, or corpse pose. You lay in the silk like a hammock and just breathe to the beat of a calming song while all of your muscles relax, and you (probably) won’t want to leave the state of relaxation you just found.
The entire class is around an hour and a half for just $25. Desert Air Yoga also has a great special for new clients that is $25 for unlimited classes for 2 weeks. I was a little sore the next couple of days after class, but my joints had never felt better. I truly believe this class is one that everyone should try, and I bet you’ll be hooked to how your body feels after class.
My Takeaway: A High-Intensity Workout
This class was definitely an experience. I have always enjoyed pilates, but it had been a long time since I had taken a class, so I felt a little unprepared for what I was about to do.
When I got to the studio, everyone was very friendly. I had been running a little behind and arrived to the class only a few minutes before it was supposed to start, but the instructor was really excited to see me and help me try the class. She quickly showed me how each piece of the Allegro 2 reformer worked and then got class started.
The class was a really great, rather intense workout. We started with a 10-minute abdominal workout that consisted mainly of crunches, planks and pulses. Then we transitioned into a 10-minute upper body workout. Finally, we ended with 30 minutes of lower body work. I found the directions for the workouts a little hard to follow when they were given the first time, but the instructor was very nice and made sure I was completing the workout properly. It was great because I felt like we solidly hit every muscle group in an hour. We ended with a very relaxing cool down that included a slight stretch through the leg muscles.
I had a lot of fun with this class, but it definitely wasn’t easy. When you try it, make sure you start slow and don’t worry about the people around you. I know it can be hard not to pay attention to others in the room, but this is a class where you have to try your best to just focus on yourself. No matter how fit you are, you will probably struggle at least a little bit in your first class because the reformer machine adds a lot of extra resistance to the workout.
The studio offers a free trial class to start and then it is split by either monthly memberships or packages that include a certain number of classes that can be spread out over a period of six months. This workout is very different from anything I have ever done and a lot of fun, so no matter your skill level, I think it’s worth a try.
My Takeaway: A Great Leg Workout
I was very unsure of what to expect when I arrived at the Tough Lotus studio in Chandler. I had done my research, but no amount of research could have prepared me for the class I was about to take.
There was only one person working at the studio when I arrived, but she was very friendly and extremely helpful. We started class with the normal warm-up for most workout classes which included stretching, some cardio and an ab workout. Then the craziness began.
The instructor helped everyone in the class get situated in their harness and attached to the bungee. It was kind of funny when she did mine because I am very short, so the bungee had to be as long as it possibly could be. Although, no matter what, I don’t think anyone will ever forget what it feels like the first time you are on the bungee. It feels like you are being lifted out of your shoes, and you could just fly away at any moment while standing still.
Once we got into the exercises, things felt really weird. It was hard to do simple things like squats because of all the resistance in the Bungee. On the brightside, push-ups have never been easier. We then found out what it feels like to fly. We would run and jump while the bungee pulled us back to center. The farther you ran the more you flew. It was an exhilarating feeling.
The scariest thing we did was probably the planks and dive. We would basically fall straight forward into the ground on purpose. When the instructor demonstrated it seemed like we were all about to faceplant together as a group, but she gave very specific instructions that allowed us to take baby steps into these moves which made the exercises easy to follow. Finally, we put all of the moves together into a little dance routine that we filmed, so everyone can treasure the craziness they just learned. We ended with a cooldown stretch that was calming and relaxing on my muscles.
I can honestly say that this was the strangest class I tried, but it was also amazing. I would love to go back to take another class, and I hope to see some newbies taking a chance on the bungee.